Question About 20" vs 22" Bass Drum

donzo74

Junior Member
Just curious, but how low are you tuning it? Finger tight? Wrinkled head tight? Or something beyond those?
I play mostly heel up so I have the batter tuned to the point where there is a pocket for the beater to sink into when I bury it but there is also tone if I just tap it and let the beater come off the head. Because this is the drum I would use for acoustic jazz, blues or orchestral settings, it's tuned low but not wrinkled or flabby. Definitely beyond just finger tight and higher on the reso than the batter. When I bury the beater, it gives a tight and punchy note and when I let the beater rebound off the head it gives a nice round tone that gets out of the way pretty quickly. I want for there to be a difference between the open and closed sounds, but not a really drastic difference between the two since I'm using both techniques and I want it to be more of a different texture or effect. This is the tuning that gives me the best of both worlds and the most versatile sounds from the drum.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I'm the same every size from 16" - 26" and now use a 20x14 for every gig. Perfect gigging size

Don't have any problems with mine at all. Just have to put a towel in just to touch both heads.

Is it as nice as my Ludwig 22x14, no.....but is it lighter and easier to carry around? Most definitely!
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Yep - the bottom line is if someone thinks the tradeoff is worth it. I do.

I like a 20 though mostly because with that, I can set it up to fit me like a glove.
Plus the 20" Saturn has a tom mount and my ludwig means taking another stand :)
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I'm the same every size from 16" - 26" and now use a 20x14 for every gig. Perfect gigging size

Don't have any problems with mine at all. Just have to put a towel in just to touch both heads.

Is it as nice as my Ludwig 22x14, no.....but is it lighter and easier to carry around? Most definitely!
I guess that is what I'm struggling with, the trade off.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
a) A 20 is not a 22. Besides heads, tuning, or possibly adding weight, there's little to be done about it.

b) How would you feel about cutting your toms down to a shallower depth?
Cutting down the toms is not something I want to do. It's a good suggestion, but I have some vintage kits, so I'd prefer they stay in their original condition as much as possible.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I'm looking at my 20" kick drum and how low I have my tom and thinking there's no way a 22" would ever work for me. Plus that's a lot more weight to haul to and from gigs.

I tune my 20x16 low but no wrinkles. Much more than finger tight. Low but the bolts are tightened.

I went with a PS 3 after many years using a SuperKick. Drum sounds brighter now and more musical. I like feedback from pedal better, too. It's louder with PS3.
Thank you for the input. Much appreciated.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I think you need to get someone to play the kit with you standing in front of it to get a good perspective. The band would complain if they couldn't hear it. a 20 is loud enough. For the benefits like hauling gear and tom placement i rarely bring my 22 to gigs.

That being said, I have always enjoyed a punchy kick with nice attack but still goes boom. I tune it low, port it, often have a kickport/pillow in it. At the end of the day it's your decision. You sound like you want to use the 22 to me. I do love the sound of my 22 on the reference kit, but it seems much bigger and my tom placement changes. Playing on an 18 was a dream when I could mic it. It was easy to boost the low end, the response was insane, my toms were low, and it was punchy as can be.
That is a great idea. My concern about the sound comes from the band not feeling as locked in as we have in the past. We have been a bit shaky lately when I have been playing the 20". I'll ask about it.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
That is a great idea. My concern about the sound comes from the band not feeling as locked in as we have in the past. We have been a bit shaky lately when I have been playing the 20". I'll ask about it.
They also have volume knobs, you don't :p

I noticed how different I play solo vs with a band. When my band plays I feel like I am having to hulk smash to hear myself, When I play solo I am very relaxed. It's because guys with strings feel the need to CRANK their amps to 11 all the time. Totally unnecessary in my mind.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
They also have volume knobs, you don't :p

I noticed how different I play solo vs with a band. When my band plays I feel like I am having to hulk smash to hear myself, When I play solo I am very relaxed. It's because guys with strings feel the need to CRANK their amps to 11 all the time. Totally unnecessary in my mind.
A lot of the time they don't realise you can turn the knobs both ways.

Luckily it's not a problem I have to deal with. You can lock into any size bass drum. Sounds like you have band members that can't keep time and/or don't listen to what each other is playing. The size of the bass drum means nothing.

Don't bother telling them, they'll expect you to mess about with your gear but they won't turn down which would cure the problem straight away.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
They also have volume knobs, you don't :p

I noticed how different I play solo vs with a band. When my band plays I feel like I am having to hulk smash to hear myself, When I play solo I am very relaxed. It's because guys with strings feel the need to CRANK their amps to 11 all the time. Totally unnecessary in my mind.

Absolutely true. That’s a very good point.
 

RickP

Gold Member
I am a big fan of the 20 x 14 bass drum size . I far prefer it to the 22 x 14 . The 20” bass drum is far more versatile, which I need for the wide variety of gigs I do these days . I also have a 24 x 14 bass drum for louder Rock gigs where I want some additional bottom end .

That being said for Big Band and Jazz gigs I have my Sonor Vintage series 20 “ bass drum set up with a
Coated Remo PS3 batter with a felt strip placed horizontally so the beater strikes at the point where the felt strip resides . The Resource head is an unported Remo Fiberskyn P3 FeltTone . This combination gives a very warm round tone with controlled resonance and still retains some boom .

The 20” Noble and Cooley Horizon bass drum is used from anything from small groups to Big Bands to Rock gigs and it is set up with a Clear Aquarian Superkick 1 and a ported or Unported single ply resonant with a felt strip on the reso side with no additional muffling . The SK 1 is a great batter still with plenty of resonance and boom and not as dead or quiet as the SK2 .

Volume should never be an issue if you are micing the bass drum .
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I am a big fan of the 20 x 14 bass drum size . I far prefer it to the 22 x 14 . The 20” bass drum is far more versatile, which I need for the wide variety of gigs I do these days . I also have a 24 x 14 bass drum for louder Rock gigs where I want some additional bottom end .

That being said for Big Band and Jazz gigs I have my Sonor Vintage series 20 “ bass drum set up with a
Coated Remo PS3 batter with a felt strip placed horizontally so the beater strikes at the point where the felt strip resides . The Resource head is an unported Remo Fiberskyn P3 FeltTone . This combination gives a very warm round tone with controlled resonance and still retains some boom .

The 20” Noble and Cooley Horizon bass drum is used from anything from small groups to Big Bands to Rock gigs and it is set up with a Clear Aquarian Superkick 1 and a ported or Unported single ply resonant with a felt strip on the reso side with no additional muffling . The SK 1 is a great batter still with plenty of resonance and boom and not as dead or quiet as the SK2 .

Volume should never be an issue if you are micing the bass drum .
Thanks for the input, Rick. I played the drums again yesterday and I love the feel of everything. I do miss the low end, but the band felt tight again last night, so maybe it was my perception. I would love to figure out a way to get that low end though.
 
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beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
A lot of the time they don't realise you can turn the knobs both ways.

Luckily it's not a problem I have to deal with. You can lock into any size bass drum. Sounds like you have band members that can't keep time and/or don't listen to what each other is playing. The size of the bass drum means nothing.

Don't bother telling them, they'll expect you to mess about with your gear but they won't turn down which would cure the problem straight away.
What does them playing loud have to do with keeping time? The guy in my band have great time actually and we are very locked in. We also listen to each other and play very tight. It's just too loud usually and I have to hit harder. At gigs I am always mic'd so it isn't an issue. I usually mic my kick at jam too.

I also have asked them to turn down on multiple occasions and it has worked out great.

I was just explaining to OP that if volume is his issue that is a way to get around it. and how loud bands can cause you to change how you play.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
A stave or spun fiberglass kick will definitely give you more low end than a ply shell. I have an unbranded walnut stave 20” kick that sounds almost like a 24. My Jenkins-Martin fiberglass 22” DEFINITELY sounds like a 24.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
A stave or spun fiberglass kick will definitely give you more low end than a ply shell. I have an unbranded walnut stave 20” kick that sounds almost like a 24. My Jenkins-Martin fiberglass 22” DEFINITELY sounds like a 24.
Hmm....I have never heard of that phenomenon before. I'll have to check out those drums. Thanks for the heads up.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
People like what they are accustomed to. The 20 is a different drum than a 22 IMO. They both do different things. I like a 22 unmiced, But I'd take a 20" too. The 20" drum...in my head is best tuned a little on the higher side, almost Motown-ish tuning.

Maybe use a 20" at the next unmiced gig and record from the audience to see if it does what you need.
 

sonormapex

Senior Member
For me, a 22 will do just fine, as long as its 14" in depth. Normally I,d say a 20 is ok, but when I play a 22 I can really notice a difference
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
I think it all depends on the balance of your kit and the volume and low end of the rest of the music you are playing, I use to run with 20” when I played in a band with super low end supplied by samplers. In this way my kick wasn’t competing and it sounded great tuned medium using a super kick type head. However, it was always miked. At present I play a 22” because the music needs the drums to deliver a very solid low end because the bass is playing very melodically rather than unifying the thump....and also because

Some drums are just great drums no matter what the size and sometimes they are lemons no matter what the size.

20” x 14 are indeed great bar/cafe gig drums, easy to load in out and not overwhelming sonically.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
So, I played the 20" again and there are a few of things that stand out to me.

1.) The punch of the 20" is a bit quicker, which is kind of nice. The note is shorter, sharper, more pronounced, which I don't think I noticed before. It was just a quick recording on my phone, but I there was a difference. .

2.) The 20" definitely sits "above" the bass guitar. The 22" seems to sit closer to the actual bass lines, which is why I think it sounds tighter. I'm not a fan of this....at all. It makes the folky stuff sound like I'm playing more funky and punchy, which is not a good thing.

3.) The 20" also sounds a bit "harder," if that makes any sense. I'm using the same heads on the 22" and 20" drums (both 14" depth by the way) so I'm not sure what the issue is. The heads I'm using are a coated Powerstroke 3 on the batter and a coated Ambassador with a felt strip on the resonant side and both are tuned medium to medium lowish. Maybe I'm just hearing more of the higher frequencies with the 20"?

4.) The volume is not a problem the way that I thought it was. Actually, the 20" seems like it would be fine in unmiced situations, after listening back. It isn't quite as loud, but the band said it didn't seem like it would be an issue.

5.) The more I play the 20", the more comfortable I feel behind the kit. The ergonomics of the kit (the placement of the toms, the cymbals, the distance the drums are away from me) just feels more comfortable.

By the way, I'm playing a 20/14/12 or a 22/16/12 if that matters.
 
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